An Appreciation Of Kevin Manning, DC's Resident Boozy, One-Armed Tennis Prankster

Our man at the Washington City Paper, Dave McKenna, has written an appreciation of Kevin Manning, a DC-area tennis character who passed away from cancer earlier this year.

It's worth a read, and it's not one of those maudlin, sports-meets-cancer obits that one sees far too often. After all, Manning, in McKenna's words, was "Ferris Bueller meets Bluto Blutarsky, a devious kid who did whatever he wanted."

There's the one about Manning turning the Fort Myer Officers' Club into a Yorktown hangout. "Kevin just talked his way onto the base somehow, then made sure he got to know all the bartenders," says Scott. "So you have a bunch of 17-year-olds starting off every Friday night drinking at the Officers' Club of a major military installation."

Manning also entertained his friends at the media's expense. Back when Ken Beatrice was the only sports talk radio host in town-and before the Internet and caller ID-Manning would call into Beatrice's show. Using a variety of names and voices, he'd exploit the host's inability to admit he didn't know something. I remember once hearing a "Sparky from Arlington" tell Beatrice that "this kid Jack Schore just beat McEnroe over in Europe." The voice was Manning's. "Sparky" was one of his nom de fucking-with-yous. And Schore was a thirty-something local tennis teacher, not an up-and-coming player, and wasn't anywhere near Europe or John McEnroe at the time.

Beatrice couldn't help himself.

"Well, I've only seen Schore play once," he fibbed.

Read on—the Ford White House makes a cameo. It had to.

Kevin Manning, 1958-2011 [Washington City Paper]